Patients with chronic lung disease often have difficulty clearing their airways. Secretions build up in the smaller passages, reducing lung effectiveness. Under normal conditions, a person can cough to dislodge this material, but many patients lack the strength or lung capacity for coughing to be effective. In these cases, they need some assistance such as a device that helps loosen the secretions so that they can be discharged through coughing.
Hill-Rom Holdings is a medical technology company that has a vest that provides high-frequency vibrations to help loosen material in a patient’s lungs. This is done by rapidly inflating and deflating air chambers in the vest, which apply gentle pressure to the patient’s chest. The company has launched a new version of the device called the VisiVest. This new design adds Bluetooth connectivity to address one of the major problems of this form of treatment: patient compliance. The treatments are only effective if they are performed on a regular basis. The connectivity feature sends data to the cloud that can be access by both the patient and healthcare professionals. This allows doctors to track the compliance of their patients, while a patient portal provides encouragement and feedback for the individual patient. The additional information also helps healthcare professionals make adjustments to the vest settings or other changes to the treatment as may be required.
Devices like the VisiVest are important because they can help individuals receive on-going treatment with minimal disruption in their daily lives. Instead of having to travel to a doctor’s office or other clinical setting, they are able to undergo the therapy at home. And the connectivity feature means that their doctor will receive as much information — or more — as they would with in-office treatments.